sexual abuse

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EMDR 2

Published June 12, 2017 by Chloe Madison

We started out with the image of my uncle, shot,  face down in the bloody grass.

I almost immediately lifted straight up in the air and was floating over my uncle’s house.

I saw the events of the suicide play out from a bird’s eye view: my uncle barricading himself in the back bedroom, the police coming in through the front door, I see him leave out the back door of his room and run around to the front of the house. I see him come up behind the officers, the last of whom are still entering through the front door. I see him raise his empty handgun and point it at the officers. I see them shoot him. He falls and as they approach and pick up his weapon, they realize it’s empty. One of them says, “Ah, fuck.” 

The police take hours to write up their reports. One of my memories is staring at the circular burn marks in the grass that were made by the police cars idling on top of the high lawn.

My aunt is crying and my uncle is getting taken away on a stretcher. 

I go back into his bedroom, where he’d barricaded himself.

I feel like there’s something I need to see, something I need to find- a clue maybe. 

I’m drawn to the bed…it’s dark underneath- twice I see a long shot gun laying under the bed amidst the darkness.

I find sheets of paper between the mattresses – maybe a suicide note? Or some kind of communication from my uncle?

I hold the papers and a green vine grows up out of them toward the sky, like Jack and the Beanstalk. The vine quickly swirls upward toward the sky and soon, red blood trickles down the vine.

The trickle turns into a gushing of blood pouring down, like the elevator scene in The Shining, where blood gushes out. 


I jump out of the way as the blood pours down from the heavens. It pools on the floor. I keep up against the sides of the walls. I don’t know what to do. I slip out of the door to the bedroom, wanting to leave the mess behind. I feel guilty right away and realize I’m turning my back on my uncle. So I face the door and put my hand on white door and on the door handle, saying to myself that I’ll go back in. I just need a minute. 

Then a yellow light forms directly behind me and garners my attention. I’m drawn to the light but I keep wanting to go back to the bloody room. I hear, “Come to the light.” I think they say, “that’s not yours,” taking about the bloody mess in the room. 

I don’t want to leave the room- it’s my depression. I’m not sure I’m ready to leave the room/ the depression behind.

A hand reaches out from the light and takes mine and it makes me smoothly and swiftly move forward. I think I say something about how easy it is when you take my hand. ? 

It pulls me sharply through a membrane or energy field kind of thing- into a bubble filled with white light. 

Inside the bubble is bright but we can see through it. We float up again over the house. I see the dark room – blackness envelops the outside of the room and the red blood is still pooled in the inside. It seems they’re pointing me in the opposite direction of the room to find happiness. It’s not toward the bloody, black room- it’s elsewhere.

I look over to see what/ where happiness is and the place has green foliage with red roses and a blue ocean. I see the red roses vividly- they stand for life. It’s just the rose- no stem, no nothing- just the flower. Suddenly I’m out in the ocean and there are about 5 or 6 of the roses floating in the blue ocean with me. I question whether the ocean is truth like the other blue water was. It’s not. It’s darker, deeper. I see it as being how I describe depression and suicide- like an uncontrollable, wild sea overwhelming and devouring you. 

Like La Mer:


Like my twitter picture:


So I decide the ocean is not where the roses belong. I look toward the shore and see the white sand of the shore and the green foliage with palm trees. I think that’s where I need to move to. I pick up the roses floating in the ocean and gather them together and paddle for the white beach. Paddling goes on forever. I make it to the white beach, sit down, gaze out over the ocean, and set the roses down in the sand. As I’m looking at them, I realize they won’t flourish here. They’re life. And to make them live, they need to reach the green foliage behind me. So I pick the roses up off the sand and take them to the greenery. I see a small gentle waterfall flowing into a small cool pool of water in the middle of the green foliage. I think the roses might belong there so I put some in the greenery and I lay some on the water to float. I stand in the water and analyze the roses in the greenery and the roses floating to see which is better. The water is better. So I take the few roses from the greenery and put them in the water with me. 

I want to lay back in the cool water and float, but I don’t want to lose touch with the roses. So I take a rose in each hand and lay back and float. With the red color in my palms, it reminds me of Jesus on the cross. 

When you float and water is in your ears, you can’t hear most of what’s happening around you. So I think it’s not safe to float because I can’t hear if anyone or anything approaches. So I sit up to see if anyone is there. I spin around and do a 360 and see no one. But I feel like someone is there so I say, “who’s there?” At this point, I think my dad begins to come forward- a faded figure with a belly. I’m not sure though. As he emerges, it becomes clear that it’s definitely him. I see his jeans and his red and white plaid shirt.


 I recognize his body, but his face is more blurry. 

I think he’s there to finish our conversation. I go to get out of the pool to hug him/ greet him. But I stop. I picture wearing wet clothes and think because of him and his past, that might not be appropriate or safe. So I remain in the water. He sits on the edge of the pool with his feet in the water. I want to talk so I say, “Is there anything you want to say?” He says, “I love you” and then says something about if there was ever any doubt or there shouldn’t be a doubt. I think he says something else but I can’t remember. 

<I think something significant happens here, but I just can’t remember what… >

I apologize, but I bluntly tell him that I just can’t trust him. I see a picture of the clown painting and a bird briefly enters the picture. I think the clown painting (representing grooming or deceitful, manipulative actions) might represent why I have doubts. 

I just don’t believe him.
I ask, “Can God say that to me so I can believe you?” But I feel bad right away and drop my head, thinking of how you shouldn’t ask God to prove things to you. 

Jesus comes almost immediately, full on in all His glory. No shadowy figure- but a bright white and yellow, very clear image of him appears. He gets in the water with me and stands right in front of me. It’s almost invasive how close He gets…but it makes me realize He’s there for me, how close He is to me.

He holds his hands out toward me with a red rose in it. The red rose turns into the red sacred heart. 


I think I hear “Jesus is life/ I am life” and “choose life” over and over and over again. Jesus takes me by the hand and I say how easy it is when he holds my hand. I grab? His other hand and ask him to never let go. We embrace in a long, strong, very safe hug.

I don’t know if I ask him if my dad loves me or not. My dad is there off to the side waiting. I explain that I love my dad and I think I’ve forgiven him. Jesus answers by saying, “I love you” with the implication of isn’t that enough? Or isn’t that all you need? Inside I know it is. I don’t answer out loud. I cry a lot (in real life) while this is happening.

I think I still want to know about my dad- what to do. When I asked Jesus to never let go of my hands he didn’t…until this point. He turns me around to face my dad and puts his hands on my shoulders. His hands feel huge and they grip strong so I know he won’t let go of me. He’s got me, is supporting me- he’s got my back, so to speak. I feel a gentle nudge forward, towards my dad- Jesus asks if I’m ready to move forward. I hesitate. I don’t know. I feel I’m not ready and I don’t know if I should accept him or what. ? 
The therapist says she sees the Holy Spirit all over this. She said something similar the last time too. I wonder if she just says that to everyone. 

I didn’t want to go today. I was crying before I even went. I’m so angry and so overwhelmingly sad. I’m surrounded by love at the moment, but all I want to do is get away- run away. I just want to disappear. On multiple levels.

Grooming

Published June 12, 2017 by Chloe Madison

Today I thought about some things that used to be special to me between my dad and I. On multiple different occasions he would take both my brother and I or sometimes just myself out to get ice cream. For whatever reason, he’d stop at Dairy Queen right before dinner and then make us promise to not tell our mom. I also remember that after he was diagnosed with cancer, he took me out of school early one day. We went fishing. I remember that day very clearly. I thought it was special that he was taking extra time to spend with me, knowing that his time was limited. There was a time before he got cancer that he took me to a local art shop- we looked at paintings and he showed me one that he had already picked out. It was a painting of a clown. He made a big deal out of the painting and of us going there. Because of that, I thought the painting must have been really expensive. He also made a big deal out of keeping it all secret- a special secret. I still have that painting. But I hate it now. Even though I hate it, I can’t let go of it because it’s the only thing I have that my dad gave me. 

It’s blurry because I zoomed in (it was in the background of an old photo) and a portion of it is blocked, but this is the actual clown painting.


Over a decade ago, I went to a counselor and received therapy. I told my therapist about the special, secret things my dad did for me. She shook her head and informed me that it’s part of “grooming.” 

I was devastated. 

I remember thinking that maybe she wasn’t entirely correct. That maybe just because my dad did something for me in secret, doesn’t necessarily mean it was grooming. But this revelation is what led me to despise that painting. I will never truly know my dad’s intentions. 

So today I was thinking about all of this. And with the new fact that my uncle was also a victim of my dad’s, I wondered if there was ever any grooming done by my dad toward my uncle. I don’t think I’ll ever know. 

The other thing I also thought about- was if I don’t make it through this…how many lives would be taken as a result of the actions of one person. 

It’s mind blowing. 

EMDR session #1

Published June 10, 2017 by Chloe Madison

You’re supposed to focus on a picture of the most distressing part of the issue you’re dealing with. Then, you decide what’s the biggest negative feeling you have about it. I wept throughout this entire session- not sure why.

I have a picture in my head of my uncle’s suicide- his body laying face down in the grass, the stark contrast of the red blood on the green grass. 

The feeling I have is that I should have been more understanding of him, I should have known (what I didn’t know yet) about his abuse by my dad. I should have been more compassionate. 

I feel pain in my heart and chest- it blows up, swells, and feels like it’s going to burst. The pain moves up through my neck and into my head. I feel like my head is going to explode as the pain swells greater and greater. I feel like the explosion will come out of my eyes and my head will shatter. 

So I turn away from the sight because I can’t deal. I keep trying to move away and I feel like I start to float away from the scene. As much as I turn my head in that direction, wanting to move away from the scene of the suicide, I feel obligated to return. It’s the right thing to do. It’s like I just can’t turn my back on my uncle- it’s not his fault. 

I feel like I need to talk with my aunt to tell her the truth. (In reality, my uncle had been sexually abused my my dad when they were younger- my uncle told several people, but no one ever believed him. He spent most of his life depressed and eventually committed suicide). So I feel like I need to tell my aunt that my uncle was telling the truth. But I don’t want to because I’m afraid it will crush her. I see us talking in fast forward with no words.

We move into her house and we begin to become submerged in blue water that’s all throughout the house. The water stands for truth. We soak in the water up to our mouths- our entire bodies are submerged and part of our heads- up to the level of our mouths. We don’t talk anymore, we just soak in the truth. I can tell it’s going to take her time to take it all in (just like it took me time to digest everything). 

As we’re soaking in the blue water, I notice the sky turns a deep red. It becomes a dark maroon, like something foreboding is coming. But there’s a lighter, circular spot that develops in the sky. In the deep red sky, this lighter spot turns into an orange color, then fades into yellow. I feel like Jesus is going to come through that spot on a chariot or something. 

But I don’t let him. Even though I don’t have the power to stop God, I push back and don’t let him come out of the sky. The sky begins to turn a deep purple. I feel like it’s a signal that Jesus is permanently leaving. (The therapist says at this point that it’s our choice to follow Jesus and allow Him to work.) 

So I realize the mistake I’m making and I say, “Sorry! Come back, come back!” I don’t quite remember, but I think the sky turns from purple to orange. I rise up out of the blue pool to get a better look to see if Jesus is coming back. I keep rising up and as I do, I’m spinning and floating upwards, looking all around. I don’t see Jesus, but I get the feeling that he’s all around me. I look up, directly overhead and I see a circular area that’s made up of a whiter light (this reminds me of the very end of Twister when they look up into the middle of the tornado). I’m floating up into this white light. 

I feel like it could be God carrying me up into Heaven, perhaps for a visit. I want to visit my uncle and think that maybe I’ll see everyone there. I see the shadows of all my family members who have passed on. But then I see all the shadows of everyone fade and back away. One person floats forward (he’s a dark shadow with a bigger belly) so I think it’s my dad. I never see him clearly so I’m not sure. I wanted to check on my uncle so I keep thinking my dad will fade and my uncle will come forward. But it doesn’t happen. 

My dad keeps coming forward. He puts his arm around me, his hand on my shoulder and I think he says he needs to tell me something. He says, “I’m so very sorry.” Well, this is all I’ve ever wanted to hear! So I wonder if it’s real or imagined. I think I asked him if he apologized to my uncle…I wanted to make sure they’ve resolved things. He says, “I never meant to hurt you.” I think he said I love you. I don’t seem to receive these messages too warmly as I find myself still preoccupied with wanting to know if he’s resolved things with my uncle and if my uncle is ok. He asks me for forgiveness. I kind of hold off answering, almost like- well, if you apologized to Uncle Gary, then yes- if you didn’t, then no. I’m preoccupied with the injustice my uncle dealt with his entire life. Then my dad says, “Justice is not yours, it’s the Lord’s.” It makes me think of academy and wanting to help others get justice because my uncle never got it and I never did either. 

I tell my dad, “Of course I forgive you. I always have.” We go to hug, but I pause in the embrace. I question if it’s safe. I hold off hugging because I keep questioning the safety/ protection of the situation because it wasn’t safe before. I then see another person’s face- a giant sized face just floating there. This is a safe person, but I try to push that face away because it has nothing to do with the situation. The same giant face comes back again- this time the face itself is faded, but I recognize other facial features. I push it away again, thinking it doesn’t belong (except for the fact that it is a safe person). I can’t quite remember what happens next. 

I don’t know. I think we never fully hug. I think I inquire about my uncle again. My dad answers with something like- he did or said what he had to/ needed to me. (I notice we’re running out of time in the session.) I keep thinking my indecision to embrace or my indecision about whether hugging my dad is safe or questioning about my uncle is making Heaven impatient with me. The white light we’ve been in turns dark purple and I feel like I’m running out of time. They’re going to send me away. 

I descend back to Earth, back toward the pool of blue water. I look up and see my dad’s hand is reaching down to me. I reach up to him, but we’re too far away. God doesn’t let us touch or let us have more time. I keep descending and his hand fades away. 

I can see my aunt again in the water with me. I ask her if she understands now. There’s no response. I’m distracted by the sky turning orange. I see a light circular spot developing again in the sky. I think it’s Jesus coming back. I can’t remember, but I think I decide that  I don’t want to push him away again. 

I think it ends there. I’m not sure. I don’t remember. 

Would have been…

Published May 26, 2017 by Chloe Madison

Ignore this- you know it already. I need to tell a story I’ve already told before. I just can’t get my mind off this. 

My uncle committed suicide by police. I was there hours later, standing next to the spot where he died. I remember finding his blood on the grass. I noticed all the circular burn marks in the grass, where officers’ patrol cars had sat idling for hours. Even then, his wife refused to tell me what was really going on. She explained in detail how he had died. How he said he wanted to die and she called the police to Baker Act him (Baker Act is a suicide hold). The police arrived and he apparently set his secret plan in motion. He barricaded himself in his bedroom, ran out of the back door (located in the bedroom), and circled around to the front door of his house. He carried a handgun with no magazine in it. He ran up behind the line of officers, who were still entering through the front door. They noticed him and he raised the gun and pointed it at the officers. They fired. Of course, it wasn’t until afterward that they realized his handgun wasn’t loaded. Suicide by police = quick and highly effective. 
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I found out why my uncle committed suicide. I don’t think that many people knew- I know of two. But those people- my cousin and my aunt (my uncle’s wife) refused over and over again to tell me. My cousin let out the most information, saying that my Uncle Gary had always accused someone of something and no one had ever believed him. Well, with my past, my mind immediately went to sexual abuse and I thought maybe my dad or someone else in the family. (I had always wondered if someone ever did anything to my dad- I mean, where did he learn this from?) Anyway, maybe two years ago, I was back in my hometown visiting. I was with my cousin and had already decided in my head that I was going to extract this information from her before I returned home. We had already gotten into some deep conversations- her husband (one of my most favorite family members) had been murdered. He was a government agent and she thought he’d been murdered by his own people. (Btw, if this blog suddenly disappears, there ya go.) So we’d broached heavy topics and I brought up my uncle. Again, she refused to tell me what he’d been so depressed about his entire life. I knew he hated me…he hated everyone. But I never knew why. I remember being so confused at his funeral as his co-workers stood up and relayed stories about how sweet, kind, generous, and funny he was. I thought these people are at the wrong funeral!! Who are they talking about? I never knew my uncle to be sweet or generous or funny. Ever. I was shocked as person after person went up to the front and said all these things about him. They were describing a side of him I never knew existed. And I remember thinking again… why did he hate his family so much? But he loved these people? I was so confused and unsettled. So years later, I’m sitting in my cousin’s kitchen. It’s nearly 2am. I told her I wouldn’t leave until she spilled it. So she finally did. 

She told me how my uncle had accused his older brother (my dad) of sexually abusing/ molesting him. No one had ever believed my uncle. I’m assuming he must have despised my father. It was no wonder he hated me too then…I was my father’s child. He was probably disgusted with all of us. And…now that I know how my grandma helped cover up my abuse…I’m assuming she did the same with my uncle. No wonder he was such as ass to her too. He had told her and she had acted like she didn’t believe him. She just kept it all covered up. Is that a mother’s loyalty? I don’t think that’s right, no matter how you look at it. 

Tears stream down my face right now as I know I would have been the only person to believe him. I wish I had known. I wish he had told me, instead of just hating me from afar. I wonder if he had shared and I believed, would that have comforted him at all? Would that have made a difference or prevented his death? Would he have been more disturbed to discover that my dad had abused another? 

So that’s where I find myself stuck. I very slowly came to the realization that my dad was a sexual predator, a child molester, a 
Until I found out about my uncle, I never thought of my dad that way. I’d honestly thought he was a good person, as everyone had repeatedly told me, who made a mistake once with his daughter. It took a while to hit me…there was more than one victim. I wasn’t the only one. That makes him all those bad things. Maybe I should have thought of him that way before, but I just didn’t. I think it’s easier to forgive your father. You want a dad so badly, you wouldn’t want to push him away by being unforgiving. 

.

Published March 9, 2017 by Chloe Madison

MacGyver. That’s mostly what I remember. One of my all time favorite TV shows as a little kid. I was about 10 years old and MacGyver was on TV. It had to be a rerun because it was really late at night. My dad was lying on the couch and I was sitting on the very end of the couch near his feet.

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All of the sudden, it began. He started telling me to do things and I blindly obeyed. I moved as slowly as I could, resisting the only way I knew how. I was in a sudden state of shock and confusion. I absolutely could NOT believe what was happening. I couldn’t believe that it was my own dad doing this. I was also incredibly bewildered and perturbed. I knew what was happening was wrong…didn’t I? I knew that what my neighbor did to me a year before was really, really wrong. That’s why I never told anyone. But now…my DAD???

Wait…maybe it wasn’t wrong.

No, no, no…it’s definitely wrong.

I was so confused and my mind raced back and forth about the morality of what was happening, how I could get out of the situation, and how to deal with the fact that it was my own dad this time.

It seems like it lasted forever. I remember twisting my neck to awkwardly stare at the TV, pretending like it wasn’t bothering me. I stared so hard at the TV. Just kept staring…didn’t even blink. It was the only place I could look. I started involuntarily trembling. It slowly got worse and worse. I kept my neck twisted toward the TV to the point that I was in pain. Shaking…then, the tears. I couldn’t stop shaking and I surely couldn’t stop the tears. I think (but I’m not sure) that’s what made him stop.

He coldly told me to go wash up. I did. I couldn’t scrub hard enough or use enough soap. I stayed in the bathroom a long time. I was afraid to come out, afraid that it might not be over yet. When I did get the courage to open the door, I darted into my room.

I can’t remember anything else. I could tell you that I cried myself to sleep that night, but I don’t remember. Honestly, I’m glad I don’t remember. I’ve prayed so many times that God would take these memories from me. He never does.

The next thing I remember is the next day. We were driving over to my grandma’s house. I can’t remember who was driving (it must have been my dad), but I remember sitting in the front seat, looking out the window. I remember hearing the words, “we don’t talk about things like that.” He was referring to the night before, essentially telling me not to tell anyone. I remember knowing that he was just trying to shut me up. I continued looking out the window and rolled my eyes.

New information…my dad

Published January 26, 2016 by Chloe Madison

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So, what does all this mean for my dad?  Well, as I sat there in utter shock digesting what my cousin had just told me…several realizations came flooding in. I realized I wasn’t the only one my father had abused. That has so many levels of (I don’t know what) to it. A year and a half later and I’m still fully digesting that!

 

I also realized that the same thing must have happened to my dad. My father was born in 1944. So with sexual abuse in the 40s…I mean, where did he learn to do that? I think back then it had to be learned from someone. Nowadays, with the internet and how p**n permeates our society, I believe people can allow their own minds to be twisted by watching some of the stuff that’s out there. But, back before that existed…I think he must have learned it from somewhere…either by watching it be done or by having it done to him. And because of his compulsion to do it, both as a youngster and as an adult, I think it must have been deeply ingrained and therefore, must have been done to him. Now, you might think I’m just making excuses for my abuser. Ehhh…I don’t think I am. My father REALLY WAS a great person. He was kind, intelligent, helped others out so much, and had a heart for people who struggled. But, I think he was tormented and afflicted by his deviant thoughts, which turned into actions. Obviously, it was wrong and he was at fault. I’m not negating that. But, I can’t help but wonder what happened to him. And who did it? Was there someone else in my family responsible for abusing my father? Was he just mimicking behavior he learned as a child?  I honestly have no idea. Any adult who could have done something to my dad as a kid is long gone.

But, it brings up the question to me of generational curses. And that might explain why life has been so hard. Could the sins of my father have trickled down into the family tree?

I have a headache and I feel sick…like throwing up, sick. I’m going to stop writing for now. Give it all to God.

New information…my uncle

Published January 26, 2016 by Chloe Madison

4386892-human-figure-imprinted-on-grassAbout a year and half ago, I came into some new information about my father. I knew he sexually abused me…but I never knew that he had done it to anyone else. My uncle, his little brother, committed suicide. He committed suicide by police. He had been depressed and was talking about committing suicide when his wife called 911 to Baker Act him. My uncle was extremely close with my cousin, who is a retired police officer. My uncle spent his whole life listening to stories about the department, officers responding to calls, undercover work, everything. My uncle knew exactly how the police respond to an armed man who refuses to put down his firearm. Doesn’t everyone know how that will end?  As the police entered the front door of my uncle’s house, he barricaded himself in his bedroom in the back of the house. The bedroom had a back door. My uncle took his pistol with no ammunition in it and fled from the back bedroom and circled around to the front of his house. A few officers were still at the front door, just entering. My uncle pointed his gun at them…

They drew their firearms in response and yelled at him to drop his weapon. He did not. They fired. He died.

Upon discovering that it was an unloaded pistol, they realized he committed suicide by police. He never had any intention of hurting anyone or of shooting an officer. But, it was a quick, easy way for him to go. I still remember tears filling my eyes as I stood in his front yard trying to clear my vision enough to see the blood in the grass where he fell and the circles of singed grass. The singed circles were from all the patrol cars that were idling on the grass as officers probably had to fill out endless paperwork afterward.

I never really knew why my uncle committed suicide. I asked, of course. But, got a vague answer from his wife that he was depressed.  I never knew why he was depressed.

About a year and a half ago, I had a deep conversation with my cousin. She grew up with my uncle and adored both him and my dad. She mentioned something about why my uncle was depressed and when I inquired, she replied that it was because no one believed him about something. She refused to tell me what. Aha…I instantly knew. I pressed and pressed…to the point that I refused to leave her house that night until she told me. She finally said that my uncle…all along, my uncle had said that my dad sexually abused him when they were kids. She admitted that no one in the family believed my uncle because everyone thought so highly of my dad. And my dad was a great person…he really was.

But, now…now, I understood! My dad did the same to my uncle as he did to me. My uncle was telling the truth all along and no one believed him. A lifetime of no one believing him finally drove him to suicide. Not only that…but let me say that my uncle was never my favorite relative. In short, he was always an asshole to me.  To everyone. I feel guilty saying that, but he was. Even as a little child, I knew my uncle didn’t like me. As an adult, we had an argument over my grandma.  She had alzheimer’s and one day, she wandered off and he refused to come pick her up. I was fuming mad for months and we didn’t speak to each other for years.

What broke the ice was that he gave my brother and I some land that he inherited from my grandparents. We mended our relationship, but it was still distant. It always was. The funny thing is that if I had only known…if I had only known what he told everyone else! I would have been the one person who believed it.

Now, I understand my uncle so much more than when he was alive. I understand why he had such a bad attitude, why he seemed to dislike us all so much. Would you be very friendly and loving toward your abuser’s children?! Nah… you’d just want to stay away. He saw his abuser fall in love, get married, have children, have the little white picket fence life. And how is that fair?? It’s no wonder he had so much animosity towards us all.

Now…even though it’s too late…I have so much compassion for my uncle and what he went through. I wish I could have been there for him, but I just never knew. And people who did know what he accused my dad of never told me in order to protect me. Little did they know, that it offered no protection at all.